Avoid Using Registry Cleaners

avoid using registry cleaners

The Windows operating system has this central database that it uses constantly, while your computer is running. Better know as the Windows registry, it is essential for your PC’s operation. It’s hidden away where you won’t see it, and only advanced users ever meddle with it. And yet, some helpful apps offer to clean and maintain it. I need to warn you off of that sort of thing, right now. Please: Avoid using registry cleaners!

The Windows registry can take care of itself. Some cleaning software may purport to be able to improve your system performance, by tweaking your registry, but please be wary. Microsoft has long held the stance that you don’t need to “maintain” their registry. Running a registry cleaner can put your system at risk! Malwarebytes echoes this view, and also suggests that registry cleaners only appear to help, due to the placebo effect.

There are plenty of other warnings out there about the uselessness and dangers of registry cleaners, but let me be the latest: You can seriously harm your PC by using a registry cleaner. An explicit example: Joe Customer just called me about his computer that suddenly will not boot up. He presses the power button, the Windows Logo briefly appears, and then he gets a BlueScreen error. His system then restarts and loops back to the same message. As of now, he’s “dead in the water.” And the last thing he did, before this problem, was he ran his Registry Cleaner and then rebooted.

I can get him back on dry ground, with a System Restore, or a Windows Reset. With some luck, we won’t need a complete system wipe. But Joe is currently anguished and panicked, and very worried about his files. I don’t wish these kinds of feelings on anyone. Save yourself some stress and avoid using registry cleaners.


  1. JimmyT

    Yikes, I thought that CCleaner was safe to use!
    CCleaner has a registry Cleaner that I will Never Use Again.
    Jesse, are the other functions of CCleaner safe for us “Noobs” to use?
    Thanks for your tips, as they keep me out of the computer ditches.

    • Jesse Mueller

      Frankly, no. CCleaner creates work for me. If I want to be able to sleep at night, I can’t recommend it, and I remove it whenever a customer allows me to.

      Besides the Registry Cleaning function being risky, there’s the Driver Updater. It’s wholly unnecessary, and sometimes it updates a driver that didn’t need it, and suddenly the printer doesn’t work or the Bluetooth has gone missing.

      CCleaner also helps you to disable startup programs, for quicker operation, but I see people disabling things and then becoming surprised at the unexpected consequences. The connections between programs is not always intuitive or apparent. I can help customers figure out what they broke with this tool, and I can fix it. But I feel some kind of way about people paying me to repair something that broke due to a freeware program…

      The part of CCleaner that cleans temp files and junk is probably the one “safe” part to use. And that, too, is wholly unnecessary, because Microsoft has built StorageSense into Windows, and that cleans the same files from the system. Quietly, automatically, without fanfare or asking for attention.

      For folks who crave something beyond StorageSense cleanup, I mention Microsoft PC Manager: https://bluescreencomputer.com/2023/06/01/microsoft-pc-manager/ It’s harder to break something with that utility.

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